In 2010 when the hubs, who was still the boyfriend, and I went to Spain with a group of friends we were told by a friend who had studies abroad in Madrid that we needed to have roast chicken with cider at Casa Mingo. So we obeyed, like you do. After a trek across the city, including a very long walk in which we may have gotten lost a few times we found it and it could not have been more perfect. The restaurant itself is filled with long tables with strangers sitting next to each other enjoying roast chicken, fries, and cider. The chicken itself was a very simple roast chicken, done on a rotisserie where the fat drips down it and keeps the meat moist, while the dry cider tasted of fresh apples giving the meal a sweetness without a sugary kick.
borrowed from Simon Dance at www.blog.housetrip.com
Flash forward 3 years and once again I invited people over for dinner with no idea what I was going to make, until I realized I had a chicken in the freezer that was begging to be cooked, and after seeing a dozen ads for the new cidre from Stella Artois I had a revelation and decided to throw a Spanish dinner party! Now I don’t have a rotisserie (sad face) so I made my standard roast chicken recipe, but swapped some dry cider in for the usual white wine. I am rather particular about my cider, as I find so many of them to be too sweet, but I had heard good things about Stella’s new cidre (this is not a promoted post at all, I paid good American dollars at Giant for the four-pack). It is slightly crisper then most ciders that I have tried, much more like an English cider, so I decided it was perfect!
I also did not have any fries so I decided to roast sweet potatoes and green beans with the chicken, cause green beans are like fries but healthier (right???). Should you want to make my absolutely foolproof chicken just do the following; pre-heat the over to 425, then dry off your chicken (never wash it). Then you want to rub butter between the skin and the meat, I used some leftover basil/ginger compound butter. Next rub the outside of the chicken with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and pierce two lemons and pop them into the chicken cavity (technical name). Then your chicken is ready to go, breast-side down, into a dutch oven and into the oven oven for 20 minutes. While its roasting cut potatoes into cubes (regular or sweet work just fine), then toss them with enough olive oil to coat them, you don’t need much other flavor as the potatoes will go under the chicken and absorb the flavors from the chicken. After 20 minutes; pull the chicken out, turn the oven down to 350, carefully flip it over, add 1 cup of cider (or white wine), and put the potatoes under the chicken. Then put the chicken back in the oven until a thermometer reaches 165. Estimate about 20 minutes per pound (including the 20 minutes it cooked at 425). Once the chicken was done, I took it out of the dutch oven and let it rest on a cutting board. Then I added the green beans to the potatoes and cooking liquid, covered the dish and baked it for another 10 minutes so the green beans were cooked but still crisp. You can also not do this, but instead after pulling the chicken out, crank the oven back up to 425 and throw the potatoes back in to crisp them up.
And here is a gratuitous picture of the world’s cutest chicken carver
Serve your chicken with the juice from the bottom of the pan, the veggies, and a glass of whatever liquid you used to cook the chicken in.